MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Minnesota. Tim Walz on Wednesday imposed new restrictions for COVID-19 worth four weeks as the spread rose to an all-time high, shutting bars, restaurants and fitness centers while stopping social gatherings and organizing amateur sports..
The announcement came on the day Minnesota recorded 67 new deaths linked to COVID-19, bringing the state’s death toll to 3,010.. The Minnesota Department of Health also reported 5,102 confirmed new cases, bringing the state’s total to 242,053. State officials have said they expect to exceed 300,000 cases sometime next week.
The governor said in a televised address that he made a difference when Minnesota residents suffered from lockdown last spring, and that they needed to stop again to protect the health care system that had reached breaking point.. He said that while the country has built up its capacity for beds and supplies of personal protective equipment since the lockdown, doctors, nurses and other care workers are now increasingly sick because of the spread of society..
« I understand that it is not easy and it is not fair. ». « But it is a sacrifice we have to make. If we don’t, and we continue to spread, we are definitely endangering our hospitals, the ones that need care, and the caregivers..
Beginning Friday at 11:59 PM. M. During Friday, December. 18, Personal social gatherings with individuals outside the home, including weddings, are prohibited. Bars and restaurants are restricted to take-out and delivery service only. Fitness clubs, entertainment and events must be closed. Adult and youth sports have been temporarily suspended, although college and professional sports are exempt.
But retail businesses, babysitting centers, salons, and places of worship can remain open with appropriate precautions taken under the current restrictions.. Schools will continue to operate with a mixture of personal, distance and blended learning.
The governor’s office released statements from Minnesota healthcare leaders who said tighter restrictions were necessary as hospitals fill up as hiring becomes more difficult..
“The current explosive level of community transmission of COVID-19 in Minnesota means that our health care heroes – including nurses, doctors, therapists, pharmacists, support services, housekeeping, technicians, advanced practice providers, and many more – are contracting COVID-19 as they go about their daily lives « Dr. Rahul Korn, President and CEO of the Minnesota Medical Association.
Business groups were quick to point out that little state or federal aid is available to them this time, unlike what happened earlier in the year when the Democratic governor ordered the lockdown for the first time.. The governor announced $ 10 million in small business relief grants last week, and on Wednesday, he asked the state’s congressional delegation to help secure more federal aid..
“Today’s action will push many small restaurants, catering services and other hospitality businesses over the precipice,” said Liz Rammer, President and CEO of Hospitality Group Minnesota, in a statement.. . And she called for « immediate financial assistance from the state. Otherwise, these companies will not be here within four weeks. ».
Tony Chesak, executive director of the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association, which represents bars and restaurants serving alcoholic beverages, predicts an additional, permanent « devastating » loss of places to eat and drink..
“Both the federal government and the state need to take steps to help employees and the hospitality industry with lenient regulations, direct financial support, unemployment aid, and loans to get through this dark winter,” Cesak said in a statement.. .
Bahram Akradi, CEO of the Chanhassen-based fitness club chain, said in an interview that he would have to leave out 4,000 Minnesota workers who were reinstated when the clubs reopened earlier this year, while losing 120,000 members. A « safe haven » to keep them healthy. He said his clubs have put in place extensive safeguards, and unfair gyms have been flagged while retailers have not.. .
“There is no industry, no company that does what we did,” Arkady said..
Let them play MN, a group of parents, coaches and children who want youth sports to be allowed during the pandemic, urged Walz to reconsider, describing youth sports as an « important bright spot » in a difficult year. The sports affected include football and volleyball.
“Coaches and schools have adopted protocols that help prevent the spread of COVID more than things teenagers would do without sports,” James Herberg, head of the football school at Rockery High School, said in the group statement.. . “Cancellation of sport might seem beneficial on paper, but with no protocols or supervision the prevalence would be worse.
Tim Falls, Minnesota, Coronavirus
World News – US – Minnesota Shuts Down More Businesses As COVID-19 Spread Rises
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